Barack Obama’s policies favor students

The upcoming presidential election is important this year, especially for college students.

College students have a lot to gain or lose whenever the next session of Congress begins because lawmakers will be trying to balance the budget, and many programs that students depend upon may be on the chopping block. Only one candidate in this race actually cares about the needs of college students—Barack Obama.

Obama benefitted students by removing the banks as middlemen for guaranteed loans. This change was made alongside Obama’s health care reforms. If Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is elected, it seems possible that student loans would change along with health care. After all, Romney has promised that he will repeal the Affordable Care Act on his first day in office.

Another part of “Obamacare,” as the Affordable Care Act is sometimes called, allows students to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26. Extending the age eases the worry of paying for health insurance both during college and in the first few years of employment after college. Students can focus on graduating and starting a career instead of paying for health insurance.

Another important change made by Obama has been the doubling of Pell Grants from $16 billion in 2008 to $36 billion now. The number of students eligible for Pell Grants has also increased. Pell Grants are essential to many students who could not attend college without them.

Romney wants to restrict Pell Grants, which is a bad idea. Restricting these grants will prevent young people from attending college and that ultimately means fewer educated workers in the workforce. Education is key to getting this economy working again. Romney’s plan will stifle economic progress by stifling education.

Both Romney and Obama have realized that the rising cost of college cannot continue, but only Obama has proposed a plan to lower tuition. Romney has not laid out any specifics regarding the issue of lowering tuition.

Over the course of a student’s four years at college, they are eligible to receive a $10,000 tax credit. This tax credit will be eliminated if Romney is elected. Romney would effectively be taking away $10,000 that could have been spent in the economy. This and many of his other positions, makes Romney seem like he does not care for college students.

Romney has criticized Obama for failing to stop tuition increases, but no president has the power to control every university in the country. The President and Congress can only do so much to stop the rising cost of college. To actually fix this problem Congressional Republicans must refrain from blocking Obama’s education-related bills. States must handle the problem as well.

Romney has said what he would like to do to help college students. Some of it is reasonable, but he has yet to actually explain how he would accomplish his goals. Romney should take advice from himself and “shop around” for a better higher education plan that offers specifics before asking students to vote for him.